As August comes to a close, Americans are gearing up to celebrate Labor Day weekend. Labor Day, which takes place Monday, September 3rd this year, is a federal holiday celebrating the contributions and success of American workers. It also commemorates the American labor movement which fought for workers’ rights and saw the emergence of shorter work days and the end of child labor in the United States.
Labor Day was first observed in September 1882, as 10,000 workers came together for a parade in New York City. The parade inspired workers across the country, and soon over half the states were celebrating a worker’s holiday. In 1894, Congress passed legislation and President Grover Cleveland signed the bill officially designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.
Labor Day Statistics from Money Tips (2017-2018)
- The number of employed Americans increased by 1.8 million, while the unemployment rate dropped from 4.3 to 3.9 percent.
- There are 162,245,000 people age 16 and older participating in the civilian labor force. Meanwhile, there are over 6 million in this group that are unemployed
- The age group of workers comprising a greater share of the workforce are Americans 55 years of age and older at 36.3 million. Following them are workers ages 25 to 34 at 35.4 million.
- Over half of the female population, at 55 percent, participate in the workforce.
- Median weekly earnings in 2018 Q2 were $962 for men and $779 for women, or 81 percent of men’s earnings.
- Workers in the labor force work 39 weekly hours, on average.
- 8.1 million workers held multiple jobs, or 5.2 percent of the labor force.
- American workers typically retire at the median age of 66 and live a median of 20 years in retirement.
Whether you plan to hit the beach, attend a barbecue or take advantage of the many online and in-store shopping deals, NAWRB wishes you an enjoyable weekend with your friends and family. Thank you for your contribution to the nation’s ever-growing workforce, and let us remember those hard-working individuals that came before us.